Carabao Cup
Liverpool 5-1 West Ham United 

Wednesday, 20th December 2023
by Staff Writer

West Ham are out of the Carabao Cup after going down with barely a whimper against an understrengh Liverpool side at Anfield.

While the Hammers can point to several enforced chances themselves due to injury and illness within the camp, there can be few excuses for the thoroughly disappointing manner in which they exited the competition.

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The home side dominated the game from the off and once Dominik Szoboszlai sent a long-range effort into the far corner after 28 minutes, Liverpool's place in the last four was as good as guaranteed.

1-0 ahead at half time, Curtis Jones doubled Liverpool's advantage 11 minutes after the restart when he fired a shot between Alphonse Areola 's legs.

Cody Gakpo added a third in the 71st minute before the huge, travelling contingent of Hammers fans were finally given something to cheer as Jarrod Bowen scored a superb goal when whipping the ball beyond 'keeper Kelleher with 12 minutes of regulation time remaining.

However West Ham's brief hopes of a repeat of that unlikely comeback from 3-0 to 3-3 at Tottenham three years ago were snuffed out when Mo Salah made it 4-1, as he raced clear before leaving Areola clutching at thin air once again.

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Just two minutes later, and with the Hammers still reeling from conceding a fourth, Jones finished off an excellent run by adding his second of the half to make it 5-1.

Positives on the night? Jarrod Bowen's incredible run of away goalscoring continued with another fine effort - and the tremendous away support, with more than 6,000 Hammers present at Anfield.

Yet the night was perhaps best summed up when, with the score at 5-1 and time rapidly running out, one unnamed Hammer opted to "hoof" the ball 60 yards upfield into no man's land - rather than attempt to retain possession or seek a team mate.

West Ham, who faced 29 shots while managing just two of their own simply didn't know what to do with the ball - or at times even want it - on yet a night to be forgotten on the red side of Stanley Park.

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Player Ratings

Alphonse Areola
Totally mugged for the second goal. Spent much of the night picking the ball out of the back of his net, so one mark for each time.

Ben Johnson
Following the principle (for this entry only, obvs) that if one has nothing nice to say, then say nothing - I shall simply praise Ben for the excellent assist that led to Jarrod Bowen's consolation effort.

Vladimir Coufal
The least under-performing defender in the team, which shouldn't necessarily be considered a compliment.

Konstantinos Mavropanos
A chance to shine wasted. Caught woefully out of position for Liverpool's second, statuesque for the third and continues to look less than assured against higher-class oppostion.

Angelo Ogbonna
An increasingly rare appearance for the club's oldest outfield player. Sadly for Angelo, who's been a great servant to WHUFC, tonight's performance was just not of the required standard.

Edson Alvarez
Booked for the 72nd time this season. Could've done more on a couple of the goals to help the defence but can't be faulted for a lack of effort.

Tomas Soucek
Tomas' lack of comfort with the ball at his feet was fully exposed tonight. An underhit, simple pass led to the (third) goal that put the game beyond West Ham's reach.

Pablo Fornals
Oh Pablo, where have you gone? Currently a shadow of the player he was two years ago - hopefully a blip, rather than another dose of the 'Mervyn Days' (for the younger readers, ex-'keeper whose career went up the Swannee after he got married).

Mohammed Kudus
Part of a completely ineffective front three that created just two shots in the entire match (only one of which was on target). Not the night for Mo.

Said Benrahma
Conceding possession where he did - a mistake that led to Liverpool's opening goal - was bad enough, but the lack of effort immediately thereafter to atone for his error was borderline criminal. Said's mind has seemed elsewhere for a while now; warmer climes, perhaps?

Jarrod Bowen
It's another away goal for the prolific Bowen who while still learning and developing in the central role continues to give 100 per cent - even when the chips are down. The goal was absolutely first class, superb technique.


Did not play.

Did not play.

Did not play.

Match Facts

West Ham United: Alphonse Areola, Ben Johnson, Vladimir Coufal, Konstantinos Mavropanos, Angelo Ogbonna, Edson Alvarez, Tomas Soucek, Pablo Fornals, Mohammed Kudus, Said Benrahma, Jarrod Bowen.

Goals: None.

Booked: None.

Sent off: None.

Liverpool: Kelleher, Gomez, Van Dijk (Konate 61), Quansah, Tsimikas (Bradley 69), Endo (Alexander-Arnold 60), Jones, Szoboszlai (Salah 60), Elliot, Gakpo, Nunez.

Subs not used: Adrian, Clark, Gordan, McConnell, Diaz.

Goals: Szoboszlai (28), Jones (56, 85), Gakpo (71), Salah (82).

Booked: Nunez.

Sent off: None.

Referee: Tim Robinson.

Attendance: 0.

Man of the Match: Jarrod Bowen.